Kendra Urdzik begins tenure as Judson Services president and CEO

Kendra J. Urdzik began serving as president and CEO of Judson Services on Sunday. She succeeds Cynthia Dunn, whose retirement, originally planned for June 1, was announced in McKnight’s Senior Living on Jan. 30.

In her new role, Urdzik plans to focus on workforce development, Judson’s memory support programs and the use of technology to enhance information sharing and quality of life.

The not-for-profit Judson Services, based in Cleveland, has four subsidiaries:

  • Judson at University Circle, including the continuing care retirement communities of Judson Park and Judson Manor;
  • South Franklin Circle, a CCRC in Chagrin Falls, OH;
  • Judson Home Care, which includes Judson Hospice and Judson at Home; and
  • the Judson Foundation, which raises funds to support Judson’s mission.

Urdzik’s career in the healthcare industry has spanned more than 20 years. She joined Judson in 2000 as an administrator-in-training and has served in positions such as director of Judson Home Care, vice president of Judson at Home and, since 2015, vice president of health services and chief collaborative health officer.

Urdzik earned her undergraduate degree in health science from Ohio University in Athens, OH, and an MBA in healthcare management from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, OH. A licensed nursing home administrator with a certificate in gerontology, she is a graduate of the LeadingAge Leadership Academy.

Michelle Hamilton is new SVP of operations at the Arbor Co.

Michelle Hamilton has been named senior vice president of operations at the Arbor Co. in Atlanta.

Hamilton joins the company from Country Meadows Retirement Communities in Pennsylvania, where she served as senior vice president and chief of senior living operations. She joined Country Meadows in 1993 and led the company’s overall operations, with a focus on quality assurance, risk management and specialty care programs.

In her new position, which she began March 19, Hamilton handles the day-to-day leadership of Arbor’s operations, complementing the disciplined teams already in place at Arbor for sales, resident care, engagement, dining and accounting.

Hamilton earned an undergraduate degree in Business and an MBA from Frostburg State University in Frostburg, MD. She has served on the Argentum Operational Excellence Advisory Board, as a Regional Roundtable Chair for Argentum, and most recently as the leader of the assisted living board of directors for the Pennsylvania Health Care Association

Hamilton and her family will relocate from Pennsylvania to Atlanta later this year.

Lars Johnson is new CFO at Heritage Senior Living, MSP Real Estate

Lars Johnson is the new chief financial officer at West Allis, WI-based Heritage Senior Living and its parent company, MSP Real Estate.

As CFO, Johnson will lead the overall financial management of both MSP Real Estate and Heritage Senior Living, helping guide their growth and development according to long-term strategic plans. Ultimately, Johnson, who will be based out of MSP’s offices in Mendota Heights, MN, aims to more fully integrate the organization’s operations and financial teams.

Johnson, who was formerly the vice president of finance at Southview Senior Communities in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, area, brings more than 17 years of accounting experience in the healthcare industry to his new role. His background includes health maintenance organization, financial analysis and accounting experience. He also spent almost a decade in public accounting, working with clients on financial modeling, strategic planning and feasibility studies.

MSP Real Estate, established in 1988, develops senior housing, multifamily and office property industries. Heritage Senior Living was founded in 2000 and is the largest senior living operator based in Wisconsin, with 15 senior living communities throughout the state – and one currently under development – that are home to more than 2,000 older adults.

Sandra Preyale named chief people officer at Aegis Living

Sandra Preyale is the new chief people officer at Bellevue, WA-based Aegis Living. In her new role, she will work to revitalize the company’s recruitment and retention strategies and optimize organization and operations structures that foster the company’s culture.

Preyale brings 30 years of experience in human resources to her new role. Before joining Aegis Living, she was vice president of HR global sellers businesses at Amazon. There, she oversaw seven business groups and 75 global HR partners for Amazon Marketplace and was responsible for defining and implementing HR strategy as well as reengineering the HR organization across global regions.

Before Amazon, during a five-year tenure at Coach, Preyale built human resources teams in Asia, Europe and New York to support the globalization of Coach and buybacks of their wholesale businesses, and she led various change-management projects, including recreating regional structures, simplifying organizational hierarchies, developing a new regional buying model and overhauling back-office outsourcing.

Earlier in her career, Preyale held regional and global positions for the LVMH Group, a multinational luxury goods conglomerate and the L’Oréal Group, and she worked in sales and merchandising with Danone Group.

Preyale has an undergraduate degree in philosophy and psychology from the University College of Dublin and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from University of Paris V.

Heidi Hendrix, RN, named chief nursing officer at Centers Health Care

Heidi Hendrix, RN, has joined Bronx, NY-based Centers Health Care as chief nursing officer.

Hendrix brings more than 25 years of experience in long-term care nursing and six years of experience as vice president of clinical operations for Genesis Healthcare. For 17 years, Hendrix was employed by SunBridge, which now is Genesis Healthcare.

In the past three years, Centers Health Care has more than doubled in size. Today, the company includes 45 skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in five states, three assisted living communities and offerings in adult day healthcare, medical transportation, urgent care, managed long-term care, home care and post-acute specialty services.  

Hendrix earned her RN at Northwest Shoals Community College and her BSN at Oklahoma Christian University.

Dawn Murr-Davidson named regional director of community wellness for Juniper Communities

Dawn Murr-Davidson has been named regional director of community wellness at Bloomfield, NJ-based Juniper Communities. In this position, she will oversee the quality of Juniper’s resident health and wellness programs.

“Dawn has worked across the healthcare continuum as a registered nurse, working in various areas of senior care, including home- and community-based care, acute and post-acute care, telehealth, skilled nursing, assisted living/personal care and regulatory,” said Lynne Katzmann, CEO and founder of Juniper Communities.

Most recently, Murr-Davidson worked as the executive director of quality initiatives and education for a long-term care and post-acute care provider servicing multiple states. Additional roles she has held over the course of her career are director of quality initiatives at the Pennsylvania Health Care Association and member of the Clinical Practice Committee of the American Health Care Association from 2015 to 2017.

Murr-Davidson is in her third year serving as a Baldridge examiner for AHCA’s Quality Awards Program and has conducted trainings on integrating Baldrige principles into everyday operations. She has spoken on clinical and quality related topics nationwide.

Murr-Davidson is a registered nurse with a BSN degree. She is studying for her Master of Health Care Administration and Business degree.

Anthony Alongi named regional director of sales and marketing at SantaFe Senior Living

Anthony Alongi has been appointed regional director of sales and marketing at SantaFe Senior Living, a Gainesville, FL-based not-for-profit that serves more than 1,300 residents, employs 800 and generates $70 million in annual revenue from its three communities.

In his role, Alongi is responsible for developing strategies that build on the company’s reputation to deliver top-level service to seniors at The Village at GainesvilleThe Terraces at Bonita Springs and East Ridge at Cutler Bay.

Before joining SantaFe, Alongi was the associate executive director at The Terraces at Bonita Springs, overseeing the management responsibilities for more than 250 residents and 200 associates. He also has served as director of operations at the community level.

Alongi graduated from the University of Florida with an undergraduate degree in business administration and economics and a master’s degree in health administration. He also has an undergraduate degree in accounting from Saint Leo University.

Danish Home hires CFO, development manager and residency counselor

The Danish Home of Chicago, a 127-year-old continuing care retirement community in the Norwood Park, IL, recently added three new staff members.

Chief Financial Officer Fred Saviano has been employed in the senior housing arena for the past 10 years.

In his new role, he provides financial leadership to ensure long-term fulfillment of The Danish Home mission and also provides financial information, enabling decision-making on the part of The Danish Home management, its board of directors and outside interested organizations.

Saviano has a degree in accounting and an MBA in finance and healthcare administration.

Development Manager Richard Brayer has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and leadership in not-for-profit organizations. At The Danish Home, he manages a $10 million fundraising campaign to make capital improvements, provide charitable care for residents and build up the endowment fund of The Danish Home Foundation.

A graduate of the University of Illinois with an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Brayer conducts research for individual, foundation and corporate prospects for the campaign. He is also the primary liaison to The Danish Home’s 200-member Women’s Auxiliary and manages other fundraising efforts and all related administrative duties.

Residency Counselor Debi Lathom is responsible for scheduling, coordinating and planning events as well as providing tours and admissions for new residents and assisting  president and CEO Scott Swanson. She is a graduate of MacCormac College and formerly was employed as a paralegal and legal assistant for Des Plaines and Northfield, IL.

Cameron Burgett promoted to general manager at WESTliving’s Commons at Union Ranch

Cameron Burgett has been promoted to general manager at The Commons at Union Ranch, a WESTliving senior living community in Manteca, CA.

He has more than seven years of assisted living experience, including the past three at WESTliving. He started at The Commons at Union Ranch as a resident services manager.

Burgett graduated from San Joaquin Delta College with a vocational nursing degree. In addition to working in assisted living, his career has included work at a hospital as well as in skilled nursing and sub-acute care and as a certified wound nurse for eight years.

Dana Ryder promoted to senior executive director at Watercrest Senior Living Group

Dana Ryder has been promoted to senior executive director at Vero Beach, FL-based Watercrest Senior Living Group.

In his new position, Ryder will be executive director of Watercrest Lake Nona Assisted Living and Memory Care in Lake Nona, FL, and will lead the executive director and oversee daily operations of Sage Park Assisted Living and Memory Care, opening in Kissimmee, FL, this fall.

A licensed assisted living facility administrator and nationally certified dementia practitioner, Ryder has 25 years of experience in the healthcare field and more than 20 years of leadership experience in management, sales, community relations and business development. He most recently was executive director at Pelican Landing Assisted Living and Memory Care in Sebastian, FL.

Ryder recently was honored with the Watercrest Servant Leadership Award, which recognizes a team member who exemplifies the Watercrest mission “to welcome, to care, to serve,” by championing a culture that nurtures relationships in the interest of acting as a trusted adviser.

Roger L. Peden named executive director of Charter Senior Living of Hermitage

Roger L. Peden II has been named executive director of Charter Senior Living of Hermitage, an independent living, assisted living and memory care community in Hermitage, TN.

Peden joins Charter Senior Living with 13 years of experience in senior living. He has worked in a variety of roles and has experience with multiple levels of care, from skilled nursing to independent living. Most recently, he was the executive director of Marsh’s Edge, a continuing care retirement community on St. Simons Island in Georgia.

Peden is a graduate of St. Edwards University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in business administration. Licensed in Tennessee, Texas and Georgia, he also recently obtained the CDAL (certified director of assisted living) credential from the Senior Living Certification Commission, joining a group of fewer than 500 people.

Maureen Gardner named executive director at Northbridge Companies’ Laurentide at Mashpee Commons

Maureen Gardner has been named executive director of Northbridge Companies’ Laurentide at Mashpee Commons, an independent living, assisted living and memory care community expected to open in Mashpee, MA, this summer.

Gardner has more than 25 years of experience in the senior living industry. She joins Northbridge Companies from Wingate Residences at Brewster Place (formally an Epoch Senior Living community), where she was serving as an executive director since 1997. Previously, Gardner worked as a sales director of Salmon Family of Services and as the sales director of Southgate at Shrewsbury, a full-continuum nursing and rehabilitation center.

She is a certified dementia practitioner and with an advanced-level administrator’s certificate from Argentum.

Nancy Jameson appointed director of admissions for Desert Willow at Sagewood

Nancy Jameson has been named director of admissions for Desert Willow, the new assisted living center under construction and scheduled to open this fall at Sagewood, a life plan community in Phoenix.

Jameson has worked for Sagewood for almost six years, previously as a residency sales counselor, a position in which she worked directly with prospective residents in the independent living sales process, from inquiry to residency. Her past experience also includes managing an assisted living facility.

In her new role, Jameson will be responsible for the admissions program to Desert Willow at Sagewood and informing prospective residents and their families of its offerings.

Desert Willow assisted living will be available to Sagewood residents and direct admissions of non-Sagewood residents.

Noble’s Pond hires three

Noble’s Pond, a 55+ active adult community in Dover, DE, has added three people to its staff.

Manager Jeffrey Foust, right, an Air Force veteran, has worked with both buyers and sellers throughout his real estate career.

Katherine Houchins-Holsclaw, center, design consultant, is an interior designer who will work with current and potential Noble’s Pond residents to customize their new homes. As manager of the community’s new design center, she will have photos, floor plans, samples and furnished model homes available to help residents visualize options.

Megan Donahue, housing consultant, has more than 20 years of sales experience. She will help prospective residents select their homes from the available model options and locations.

Sara Marchello is new trustee at LifeSpire

Sara Marchello has been elected to LifeSpire of Virginia Board of Trustees, Richmond, VA.

Marchello is associate provost and university registrar with the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg. She has an undergraduate degree from Knox College and a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Chicago.

Front Porch adds Susan Lea Whittaker to Board of Directors 

Susan Lea Whittaker has been elected to the Front Porch Board of Directors following a two-year hiatus from the board. The Glendale, CA-based not-for-profit organization serves individuals and families through retirement communities and affordable housing.

Whittaker rejoined the Front Porch board on Jan. 21 after previously serving two terms from January 2010 to December 2015, including serving as board chair from 2012 to 2013. She brings more than 40 years of experience in both healthcare administration and healthcare law to Front Porch.

Whittaker is vice president of sponsorship for Providence St. Joseph Health, the combination of Providence Health & Services and St. Joseph Health System. Her previous roles included general counsel to St. Joseph Health Ministry and St. Joseph Health System, as well as governance counsel and chief administrative officer to St. Joseph Health System, based in Orange, CA.

Whittaker holds degrees in theology, law, healthcare administration and nursing. She is on the faculty of the Aquinas Institute of Theology at St. Louis University.

The Front Porch Board has 11 members, each of whom serves a three-year term.

Shane Seitz joins CBRE’s Healthcare Capital Markets

Shane Seitz has joined CBRE’s Healthcare Capital Markets team as a senior vice president.

Based in Denver, Seitz will join Chris Bodnar and Lee Asher, vice chairmen of the company, to focus on debt and equity structuring for its healthcare and life sciences clients.

Seitz comes to CBRE from real estate investment trust Ventas, which he had joined in 2011 as part of the Nationwide Health Properties acquisition. With more than 20 years of commercial real estate experience, Seitz has completed more than $10 billion in transactions encompassing seniors housing, medical office, life science and hospitals in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Seitz received his undergraduate degree in real estate and urban development and marketing from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MBA degree from the University of Colorado-Denver.

Tiffany Wright named director of business development at senior ride-hailing company Envoy America

Tiffany Wright has joined Envoy America as director of business development.

The ridesharing program offers accompanied transportation and extra assistance for older adults, residents and patients. Wright, who is based in Phoenix, will be tasked with leading Envoy America’s business development strategy to expand the company’s market share in the senior living, healthcare and religious institutions market segments. She also will develop new demand-generation programs.

A 25-year marketing and business development veteran, Wright’s career includes serving as president of Senior Lifestyle Connections, owner of Morning Star Assisted Living, director of business development at Nightingale Homecare and skilled admissions director at Vi Senior Living.

Jason Wiedder named vice president of franchise development at Always Best Care

Jason Wiedder has been named vice president of franchise development at Roseville, CA-based Always Best Care Senior Services, which provides assisted living placement services, non-medical in-home care and skilled home healthcare through an international network of more than 200 independently owned and operated franchise territories throughout the United States and Canada.

In his new role, Wiedder will lead the brand’s national growth strategy into new and existing markets across the country.

Wiedder has more than 13 years of experience in leading franchise development efforts for several brands in the senior care industry. Most recently, he was vice president of franchise development for Brain Balance Achievement Centers and, before that, was the chief operating officer/vice president of franchise sales for A Right Place for Seniors. For almost 10 years, Wiedder spearheaded franchise sales efforts for Senior Helpers, where he helped expand the brand from three franchises to 275.

Send personnel news to Senior Editor Lois A. Bowers. Please include a high-quality color photograph.